The world’s biggest lithium ion storage installation has been operating for less than three months, and already it is the subject of comedy skits.
Comedian Shaun Micallef, in his Mad as Hell program on ABC TV, produced a little gem this week with a spoof about the so-called Tesla big battery and the opponents of new renewable and storage technology.
It’s not often comedians get stuck into the energy market, as complex and opaque as it is, but some have given it a good shake, notably Clarke and Dawe with this masterpiece last year in one of their last collaborations before Clarke’s sudden death.
In the Micallef skit, protestors surround the Tesla big battery and demand that the electrons stored there be set free and not locked in a cage. Storing electrons is cruel, says one.
“The sun and the wind are natural sources or power, they shouldn’t be locked in some cage like an animal, they should be wild and free like lightning or a hurricane.”
Then there’s the bloke from the neighbouring wind farm – and Micallef’s team deftly and hilariously mock the objections of a long line of wind farm critics.
“There are plenty of clean, renewable, inexpensive alternatives to wind, imported black coal from India for example. I’ve got nothing against wind but what happens when the wind stops blowing”?
“It’s a point made by many others who also don’t know what they’re talking about,” the skit continues, and promptly shows images of Barnaby Joyce, Donald Trump and former ABC and now Nine Network journalist Chris Uhlmann.
It was all rather timely given the furore over the ABC’s editorial standards, and questions over why Uhlmann’s analysis of South Australia’s blackouts passed the ABC editorial muster, when analysis from economics correspondent Emma Alberici did not.
Alberici had the cheek to suggest there was no case for tax cuts for business. That was clearly against government policy. Uhlmann stated in his “analysis” that the pursuit of wind and solar would lead to nationwide blackouts. Apparently, that was OK.
The Micallef skit is worth a look. You’ll need to go on to ABC ‘s I-View platform to see it (25mins in)
Giles Parkinson is a journalist of 30 years experience, a former Business Editor and Deputy Editor of the Financial Review, a columnist for The Bulletin magazine and The Australian, and the former editor of Climate Spectator.